NORTHBROOK – Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) has once again been selected as the charitable recipient for the Nielsen USTA Pro Tennis Championship July 10 – July 15, held in Winnetka. The $75,000 Men’s Challenger tournament is a one of a kind event attracting some of the finest tennis players in the world and drawing
international attention. Net proceeds benefit NSSRA, and in the last ten years the tournament has donated over $150,000 for programs and services benefiting people with disabilities.
NSSRA, founded in 1970, serves over 1,500 children, teens and adults with disabilities living in its partner communities throughout the northern suburbs. In addition to its Special Olympics Gator Tennis program, NSSRA has nearly 600 recreation, sport, cultural, social, and leisure offerings available during the day, after school, in the evenings and on weekends, creating new experiences, opportunities for leisure time, skill development and perhaps most importantly, friendship. NSSRA’s Gator Athletics/Special Olympics programs span 11 sports with nearly 100 athletes.
“Having been involved with the Nielsen Pro Championship for the past 30 years, I am continually amazed at how the tournament has grown to become such a preeminent USTA event attracting the world’s best tennis players right here in our own backyard,” said Liza McElroy, Executive Director of the Park District of Highland Park and Board Member for NSSRA.
“I am especially proud that even though the Nielson Pro Championship has evolved to such importance in the tennis world, its ties to the local community have not been sidelined and proceeds continue to benefit NSSRA and the important work it does for children and adults with disabilities who live in our partner communities.”
In what has become an annual tradition, NSSRA participants Samuel Green of Winnetka and Stefan Xidas of Wilmette will participant in a tennis exhibition on Monday, June 10, and then sing the National Anthem before evening matches begin. They will also be accompanied by other Gator Tennis athletes.
“The participants, families and staff of NSSRA are so thankful for the generosity of the Nielsen/USTA tournament,” said NSSRA Executive Director Craig Culp. He continued, “It’s an honor to once again be chosen as the charitable beneficiary, and our partnership makes a significant impact on the lives of our participants and their families year after year.”
Qualifying matches begin Saturday, July 8, and qualifier finals are on Monday, July 10. All matches will be held outdoors at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center (530 Hibbard Rd. Winnetka, Illinois 60093). For more information or tickets, visit www.nielsenprotennis.org.
Submitted by NSSRA
NSSRA provides and facilitates year-round recreation programs and services for children, teens and adults with disabilities who live in the partner communities. NSSRA is an extension of ten park districts, two cities and one village in the northern suburbs of Chicago. This partnership includes the Park Districts of Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Northbrook, Northfield, Wilmette and Winnetka; the Cities of Highwood and Lake Forest; and the Village of Riverwoods. NSSRA has been creating an environment of belonging through play since 1970, and has the distinction as the first Special Recreation Association in the country. For more information about NSSRA and the programs and services they provide visit www.nssra.org.
With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA Pro Circuit provides players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, John Isner, Caroline Wozniacki, Sam Querrey, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. For more information, visit www.nielsenprotennis.org.